FLSA Implementation Begins in New York
In New York, the extension of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to the home care workforce increases the amount aides are paid for overtime (from time-and-a-half at minimum wage to time-and-a-half of base wage); newly compensates aides for travel time between clients; and alters the way aides are compensated for live-in (also known as sleep-in) cases.
In a Dear Colleague letter (pdf) released earlier this month, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) outlined the steps it is taking to begin implementing and paying for these changes. To estimate the cost, the State has surveyed home care providers, fiscal intermediaries for the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, and managed-care plans.
The state will be submitting managed-care rate adjustments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for approval retroactive to October 13, 2015. However, since rate adjustment approvals are not immediate, the state will be expediting its share of the payments.
DOH currently estimates the total cost to be an increase of $0.34/hour across all aide hours. The state has said that it will make lump sum payments of its share of Medicaid ($0.17/hour) to the managed-care plans in December 2015 and to fee-for-service providers in January 2016.
PHI New York Policy Director Carol Rodat says, “PHI is continuing to urge CMS and the state to make the necessary rate adjustments and payments to providers as soon as possible in order to create an environment that supports providers’ efforts to comply with FLSA. Overtime varies by case, employer, and plan, and therefore deserves a
— by Allison Cook, PHI New York Policy Associate